The Future of the Internet
Everywhere we go, we hear
about the Internet. It's on television, in magazines, newspapers, and in
schools. One might think that this network of millions of computers around the
globe is as fast and captivating as television, but with more and more users
logging on everyday and staying on longer and longer, this «Information
Superhighway» could be perhaps more correctly referred to as an expressway of
big city centre at rush hour.
It is estimated that thirty
five to forty million users currently are on the Internet. According to a
recent statistics, an average Internet call lasts five times as longer as the
average regular telephone call. 10 percent of the Internet calls last 6 hours
or longer. This can cause an overload and, in turn, cause telephone network to
The local network was designed
for short calls which you make and then hang up, but Internet calls often
occupy a line for hours. With so many users in the Internet and their number is
growing by 200 percent annually, it certainly provides new challenges for the
telephone companies. The Internet, up to the beginning of the 90s, was used
only to read a different texts. Then in the early 90's, a way was made to see
pictures and listen to a sound on the Internet. This breakthrough made the
Internet to be most demanded means of communication, data saving and
However, today's net is much
more than just pictures, text, and sound. The Internet is now filled with voice
massages, video conferencing and video games. With voice massages, users can
talk over the Internet for the price of the local phone call.
Nowadays we no longer have to
own a computer to access the Internet. Now,-devices such as Web TV allow our
television to browse the Web and use Electronic Mail. Cellular phones are now
also dialing up the Internet to provide E-mail and answering machine services.
The telephone network was not designed and built to handle these sorts of
things. Many telephone companies are spending enormous amounts of money to upgrade
the telephone lines.
K. Kao and G. Hockman were the
first to come up with the idea of using fiber optic cables, as opposed to
copper wire, to carry telephone signals. Fiber optics uses pulses of light to
transmit binary code, such as that used in computers and other electronic
devices. As a result the amount of bandwidth is incredibly raised. Another
solution for the problem is fast modems which satisfy the need for speed.
By accessing the Net through
the coaxial cable that provides television to our homes, the speed can be
increased 1,000 fold. However, the cable system was built to only send
information one way. In other words, they can send stuff to us, but we can't
send anything back, if there is no modem available.
Yet another way is being
introduced to access the Internet, and that is through the use of a satellite
dish just like the TV dishes currently used to deliver television from
satellites in space to your home. However, like cable connection, the
information can only be sent one way.
Faster ways of connecting to
the Internet may sound like a solution to the problem, but, just as new lanes
on highways attract more cars, a faster Internet could attract many times more
users, making it even slower than before.
To help solve the problem of
Internet clogs, Internet providers are trying new ways of pricing for
customers. So, in business time any connection to Net cost more than your
connection in the night.
In conclusion, I should add
that if we want to keep the Internet usable and fairly fast, we must not only
improve the telephone lines and means of access, but also be reasonable in